- December 1, 2019: Vol. 13, Number 11

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Combining bricks to spread risk: German developers have turned to mixed-use complexes

by Axel Schulz

Almost everyone has seen single-use areas such as the one in Hamburg’s Billbrook district, where commercial real estate is spread out as far as the eye can see. This homogenous approach to urban planning has sucked the character out of the district and made it look monotonous.

Such concentrated clusters of office and commercial real estate will, however, become less common in the future, as the focus has shifted to more flexible real estate. Mixed-use neighbourhoods are all the rage, especially in fiercely contested inner-city locations, while many modern high-rise buildings now contain apartments or hotels in addition to traditional office space.

The strict division of buildings into residential or office is a thing of the past, and there is increasing talk of vertical villages. Mixed-use skyscrapers accommodate all of the amenities found in a classic small town — hotel, retail, office and residential. One of the best-known examples of a mixed-use high-rise is pro

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